The Town Planning According to Haussmann (Part 2)

The Town Planning According to Haussmann (Part 2)

When Baron Haussmann rebuilt Paris during the Second Empire, he converted the land into broad avenues (around 30 meters wide ≈ 100 ft).

For sure you know the names of these streets: boulevard de Sebastopol, boulevard Saint-Michel, boulevard Richard-Lenoir, rue de Rivoli, rue Saint-Antoine, rue de Rennes, avenue de l’Opéra… At the same time, the French architect Baltard was working on the Halles, a traditional central market which is now a shopping centre and will be completely rebuilt at the end of 2016.

Haussmann eiffel tower | Paris Attitude


In addition to this new network of large avenues, Haussmann worked on the development of green spaces: the Parc des Buttes Chaumont, the Parc Monceau, the Parc Montsouris, the Bois de Vincennes, the Bois de Boulogne… They offered and still offer citizens a place to relax amongst nature.

facade haussmann buttes chaumont | Paris Attitude


Haussmann took care over the aesthetics of the facades of the buildings. Street blocks were designed as architectural wholes, in order to build a unified urban landscape. The rue de Rivoli served as a model for the entire network of new Parisian boulevards. So, the Haussmann facade is organised around horizontal lines: balconies and cornices are perfectly aligned; the technological progress of stone sawing allowed the use of massive stone blocks instead of simple stone facing; you can notice the lack of sculpture and other stonework.

Haussmann Balcony | Paris Attitude


All these transformations improved the quality of life in the capital: disease epidemics ceased, traffic circulation improved and new buildings were better-built and more functional than their predecessors.

Here is an interesting blog you can read: The francofiles and a video about Haussmann (in French)

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